With my sister Elena's arrival, all the way from sunny California, I knew the request for something savory was imminent. I opened up my dessert cookbook, and while flapping through a few pages, I encountered something delightful looking. After much measuring, mixing, and a little trip in the oven (not I, the dessert), berry bars were assembled. They were a hit with the family. Rewarding enough.
No worries, the recipe is simple.
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
Peel of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups all purpose-flour
3/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan.
2. for filling, combine fresh cranberries, granulated sugar, water and lemon peel in medium saucepan. Cook 10 to 15 minutes over medium-high heat until mixture is pulpy, stirring frequently. Mash cranberries with back of spoon. Cool to lukewarm.
3. for crust, combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add flour mixture; beat until blended. Stir in pecans and coconut. Reserve 1 1/2 cups; pat remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven.
4. gently spread cranberry filling over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake 18-20 minutes or until set and crust is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
(I also improvised and added blueberries on top before baking for 18-20 minutes..a good addition I believe)
Note: You can make these bars when fresh or frozen cranberries aren't available. Prepare the filling using 2 cups dried sweetened cranberries, 1 cup water and peel of 1 lemon; cook 8-10 minutes. Use as directed in step 4. Enjoy. And once you make it at home, do let me know how you liked it.
*Recipe obtained from Favorite Brand Name, Made Simple Baking book.